Japanese Typing Manual

The purpose of this manual is to guide you through the process of typing in Japanese characters; including Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji and Romanji. Before using this guide, you need to install the Japanese IME using the Mac, or Windows guide. Then you can follow the steps below learning how to actually use the new language bar options.

Windows Instructions

Start the program you wish to type in. Click the Language Change icon EN located in either the bottom right corner, or the center-top, of the screen. Click EN English (United States) to bring up the language selection menu, then select JP Japanese.

After changing the language, you will continue to write in Roman characters, or Romanji. To change this, click A Input Mode (on the Language Bar) to bring up the option menu. Then select Hiragana. The, A will change to .

Language Bar not expanding

If the Language Bar is located on the bottom corner of the screen (on the taskbar) and does not expand to display the options shown in the image above, click on the JP icon and Show the language bar to detach the Language Bar.

Mac Instructions

Click the Language and Keyboard Change icon, which should default to a small US flag, located in the top right corner on the Menu Bar to bring up the language selection menu, then select Hiragana. Note that while Katakana is an available option, Hiragana is preferable for general writing.

Kana (Hiragana/Katakana) Typing

When the typing language is set to Japanese, the keyboard is arranged phonetically. However, due to the nature of the Japanese system, two-key combinations are required to produce each character. Consult the table below for the key combinations for each character.

Kana Typing Keys

Table Notes:

For long-O sounds (e.g. "Tōkyō") type "ou" rather than "oo". Also, ignore the ancient Hiragana and , and katkana and .
あ / ア A い / イ I う / ウ U え / エ E お / オ O
か /カ KA き / キ KI く / ク KU け / ケ KE こ / コ KO
さ / サ SA し / シ SHI す / ス SU せ / セ SE そ / ソ SO
た / タ TA ち / チ CHI つ / ツ TSU て / テ TE と / ト TO
な / ナ NA に / ニ NI ぬ / ヌ NU ね / ネ NE の / ノ NO
ま / マ MA み / ミ MI む / ム MU め / メ ME も / モ MO
や / ヤ YA - ゆ / ユ YU - よ / ヨ YO
ら / ラ RA り / リ RI る / ル RU れ / レ RE ろ / ロ RO
わ / ワ WA - を / ヲ WO
- ん / ン N
が / ガ GA ぎ / ギ GI ぐ / グ GU げ / ゲ GE ご / ゴ GO
ざ / ザ ZA じ / ジ ZI/JI ず / ズ ZU ぜ / ゼ ZE ぞ / ゾ ZO

Kanji Typing

To write a word in Katakana or Kanji, you first start typing the words in Hiragana (as shown in the table above). Simply pressing Enter will leave the word in Hiragana. To replace the Hiragana with Katakana or Kanji, press the Space Bar once you have finished writing the Hiragana.

  1. If the correct Kanji appears (replacing the characters you just typed), press the Enter key to confirm your selection and continue writing.
  2. If the incorrect Kanji appears, press the Space Bar again. You will then be able to view more options from which to select. Select the appropriate Kanji combination using the Arrow Keys, Number Keys or by repeatedly pressing the Space Bar. Press Enter to select the desired combination. You may also select the equivalent Hiragana or Katakana, if so desired.

Kanji + Kana Typing

  1. In order to type a certain combination of Kanji and Hiragana which has a meaning, such as a noun with a particle and a verb with conjugation (e.g. 学 校 に gakkou ni 行きます ikimasu: "Go to school"), type the target combination in Hiragana. Then press the Space Bar to select the target Kanji + Hiragana combination.
  2. If the incorrect Kanji + Hiragana combination is selected, press the Space Bar to view more options.
  3. Select one of the Kanji + Hiragana combinations using the Arrow Keys or Number Keys. Then press Enter.
  4. After you press the Space Bar to change Kanji/Kana/Kanji+Kana combination, if the highlighted portion is not what you need to change, use the right/left Arrow Keys while pressing the Shift key.

    For example: こ ど も の は は は は が み が く is incorrect, because by selecting three s, the result will be: 子供の母は歯がみがく "As for the child's mother, teeth brush."

    In contrast: こ ど も の は は は は が み が く is correct, because the selection of "はは" will result in the following Kanji combination: 子供の歯は母がみがく "Mother brushes her child's teeth."

    • Although Hiragana and Kanji can only be typed as full-width characters, Katakana and Romanji can be input as half-sized characters by selecting Half-Width Katakana and Direct Input respectively at the Language Change icon.
    • To get back to the English setting, click the Language Change icon and select EN English.